Cotton Mill project looks for new developer

By The Associated Press

STARKVILLE— A major project to build a conference center near Mississippi State University campus has suffered a setback.

The Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/W0uG1a ) that David Shaw, MSU’s vice president for research and economic development, says a 2009 contract with Mark Nicholas of Nicholas Properties to develop the CottonMill project has expired.

Officials say a new contract with Mark Castleberry of Castle Properties, Inc., a Columbus firm is possible but that it has not been approved yet.

The university has said it wants to turn its E.E. Cooley building, a cotton mill built in 1902 which is on the National Register of Historic Places, into a conference center.

Stores, restaurants and a hotel also have been discussed as part of development plans.

But financing the project has proven to be difficult.